After attending online classes for the past several years, I have learned that the online environment is not for everyone.Â Unfortunately, some people either have unrealistic expectations, or they think taking online classes is the “easy” route. Although you might not have to sit in class all day, you still have to read your textbooks, write papers, have virtual discussions with classmates/professors, and even participate in the occasional group project (ugh!).
In many ways, online college courses are more difficult than their traditional counterparts. Are you comfortable using computers? Are you a self-starter? Is interacting with other students (in the traditional sense)Â important to you? Can you complete tasks with little input from your instructors?
There areÂ four basic things youÂ may want to consider as you research online classes:
- Computers:Â Are you comfortable using email? Do you know how to work with attachments? Can you perform basic searches/research online?
- Motivation: Are you a self-starter? Your professor will not be sending you daily emails telling you to complete your assignments and take your tests. A certain level of self-discipline is required.
- Interaction: In an online class, you will interact with the professor and your classmates primarilyÂ via threaded discussions and email. If you feel that face-to-face contact is a must for you to thrive, then online classes might not be right for you.
- Hurdles: There are certain classes that may be more suitable for the traditional classroom (speech, sciences with labs, and classes such as calculus… for those of us who prefer learning math face-to-face!). Although all of these classes are available online, sometimes, you have to stop and ask yourself if you should take a class or two locally for best results.
Test your skills!Â
Here’s an Online Learning Assessment Quiz to test yourself and see if online learning is the right choice for you.
If you are ready to find a degree program that meets your needs, perform an online degree search.
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- Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
- 2Â reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
- Care to test drive an online course?
- Five ways to spot a diploma mill
- Why you should consider taking online classes
- Importance of online college accreditation
- How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility
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